(Last Updated on : 15/09/2015)
Gogaji Fair is generally held in the month of either August or September and the fair is held in the memory of an 11th century popular hero named 'Gogaji' in Rajasthan. He is known as 'Veer' amongst the Hindus and as 'Zahar Peer' among the Muslims. Almost all the villages in Rajasthan
have a shrine dedicated to him under a Khejri tree. He is also popularly known as the 'Snake God'. It is believed that the idol of Gogaji possesses miraculous powers with the aide which he can cure the victims of snake bite. He is depicted as a warrior with a snake around his neck and riding a blue horse. The fair continues for a period of three consecutive days. It takes place annually in the month of Bhadrapada
Rituals in Gogaji Fair
Gogaji Fairs are observed in Smadhi Sathal Gogamedi and also at his birthplace, which is the Churu District, in Rajasthan. Gogamedi is located at a distance of nearly 3595 kms away from Jaipur in Hanumangarh District, Rajasthan. People arrange this fair from the ninth day of the 'Goga Navami' till the 11th day of the month. The visitors at Gogaji fair mostly come in groups carrying multicoloured flags known as 'nishans', to the shrine and singing devotional songs to the accompaniment of gongs and drums. Devotees of Gogaji sing 'bhajans' and devotional songs depicting the real-life anecdotes of God Gogaji, accompanied with musical instruments including 'Chimta', 'Damru' and much more. Pilgrims from distant places like Dadrewa too throng the fair of Gogaji and they are popularly called 'Purbia', meaning those who arrive from the east.
Frequently, it is people are observed wandering about in the Gogaji Fair, with snakes around their necks since it is widely believed that the deity Gogaji would safeguard them from snakes. As per a folktale which circulates in and nearby Dadrewa, it is a popular belief that the divine and magical powers of Gogaji is capable of transforming even a stick from 'Johra' or infertile land into a snake, if it is picked by somebody. The devotees worship Gogaji with supreme faith in their hearts whenever they receive snakebites. Besides, they also apply the 'bhabhoot' over the snakebite as an instant remedy.
The 'samadhi' of God Gogaji is composed of marble and equipped with two minarets, apart from being surrounded by a strong boundary wall. The idol of Gogaji has been seated on a beautiful blue horse, and He is portrayed with a snake entwined around his neck. A Persian inscription is embedded on the main entrance gateway of the Samadhi which bears testimony to Mahmud Ghazni's reverence for Gogaji. Ghazni is also said to have organised the remodelling of the Gogaji memorial as his gratitude to the deity especially following the fulfilment of his wish.
Incense sticks are burnt at the Samadhi which represents one of the most significant highlights of the Samadhi. Sugar drops or 'batashas', coconuts and cash are offered with respect before the deity, at the Samadhi. Priests are invited who perform special prayers which are complete with songs in admiration of Gogaji. The Nath priests carry whips which resemble Gogaji's 'chabuk' which are believed to bring luck to the devotees.